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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Recipe: Chicken Soup Cure

This'll fix ya!

Chicken Soup Cure


1 stewing hen
2 bunches green onions
2 cups Basmati brown rice
1 small cabbage
6-10 cloves garlic
4-20 hot chilli peppers
1 thumb ginger
4 red and 4 green bell peppers
6 celery stalks
6 carrots
2 large yellow onions
Olive oil cooking spray or 2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 bunch parsley
salt to taste

Wash chicken, removing giblets (save for another use), pin feathers, excessive fat. Place in a pasta pot (the kind that comes with a removable strainer) if you have one, cover with plenty of cold water. Halve one unpeeled onion and add to the chicken, together with 2 stalks celery, the parsley stalks, or half the bunch if you just can't be bothered to separate leaves and stalks, 1 bunch of the green onions.

Peel the ginger, removing any woody bits or eyes, and slice thinly lengthwise OR hit it with the flat of your knife to bruise it. If it cracks or breaks into chunks, you have achieved success and will soon be granted the blessing of ginger. Add to the chicken together with 2 chillies. If you can take the heat and like spice, you can remove the chilli stems, otherwise leave them intact.

Bring the pot to a full, rolling boil, then turn the heat down to the barest simmer and let simmer for approximately 45 minutes or until chicken is done and vegetables are very tender.

Remove chicken and vegetables from the pot (see why a pasta pot with strainer is perfect?) and let cool.

Dice all the remaining raw vegetables, shred the cabbage, slice the green onion (separate the white and green parts)and mince the chillies. Smash the garlic cloves with the flat of your knife (this makes them easy to peel and also releases the powerful antibacterial and antifungal, allicin. You must use it soon after smashing, as allicin degrades fairly rapidly.)

Heat the oil in a skillet large enough to contain all the vegetables except the cabbage. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the onions and let cook at medium heat till golden and fragrant. Add garlic (you might want to smash it right before adding it) and white part of green onion, and stir till the garlic releases its powerful fragrance. Add the carrots, celery, bell peppers, chilli peppers, stir for a minute or two, then cover and "sweat" the vegetables for about 10-20 minutes. They should release some liquid, in which they will cook, caramelizing their natural sugars.

Scrape the skillet into the chicken stock. Remove meat from the bones, discarding fat and skin (or you could donate the skin to Mike Huckabee, I hear he likes it), discard or reuse the cooked vegetables and either save the bones for stock or discard them. Wash the rice thoroughly and add. Let the soup simmer for about 40 minutes (Basmati brown rice cooks to perfection in approximately 30 minutes), then add the shredded cabbage, stir, garnish with finely minced parsley and sliced green part of green onion, and eat!

Cook's notes:

1. The older the chicken, the tastier the soup!
2. To reduce the heat of chillies, remove the seeds before mincing.
3. You might want to reserve some of the bell peppers to garnish the soup with. Raw peppers are sweet, and if you dice them tiny, they lurk like glistening jewels within your soup, bringing a little cheer to the sickbed.
4. We specify varying quantities of garlic and chillies, recognizing that not everyone shares our obsession with these ingredients.
5. Ginger is excellent for catarrh, sore throats, and upset stomachs.
6. All the vegetables used in this soup are high in Vitamin C.
7. You might find, if you have a cold, that everything tastes a little bland. This soup should fix that. Add salt sparingly, and add a little fresh lemon juice to bring out the flavours.

Feel better!

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At 2:44 PM, Blogger Lizzy said...

Hey, PC - Thank you! Angel and I just printed it off (Angel always comes running for the printer). The Huckabee info comes under the category, Did I really want to know that... :) Thank you, thank you! Plus mucho love to all the babes!

At 3:33 PM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

Oh, Lizzy, I'm sorry. I'm so thoughtless sometimes. It just popped into my head, and after I posted, I thought, Bet Lizzy REALLY does not want to know that. I won't do it again (snivel!), I promise. Let me know how the soup turns out.

Bandicoot is 60-80% better, and really enjoying the fine weather - he plays outside all day and comes in faithfully each evening. He used to like to carouse all night, but I think he's finally realized that he's Not Well and must rest.

At 9:03 PM, Blogger Sandy-LA 90034 said...

PC - I just printed it out, too! It looks so good. I've got some kind of lung infection, but the rest of me feels o.k. I think this might just fix me up all the way.

At 9:23 PM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

Oh, noes!!! Sandy, you must get well! We have Lizzy's birfsday celebrations to attend. Feel free to increase the amount of ginger, if you like and can handle spice. Ginger is very good for getting rid of fluid buildup in the lungs. Also, parsley is a diuretic.

At 11:22 AM, Blogger zoe said...

OMG, does this sound delicious! I will run over to the Kosher butcher, who has great old stewing hens and make it tomorrow! I love the twist you add to many of your recipies - ginger, garlic, peppers - Thanks, and thanks from Bear as well!

At 1:33 PM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

Big hugs to Bear, dear Zoe, and I hope you enjoy the soup! You might want to omit the ginger and chillies from Bear's portion. %^D

At 3:02 PM, Blogger zoe said...

PC -- by the way do you use serranos or jalapenos?

At 4:47 PM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

I grow chillies at home, so I use those and, depending on the heat, I use whatever will blow my socks off. Usually Thai chillies.

Jalapenos are good for roasting, toasting, grilling, and adding vitamin C. They're rarely hot enough for my taste. Serranos, on the other hand ... mmm, mildly hot.

At 11:42 PM, Blogger Sandy-LA 90034 said...

PC - just wanted to let you know I was able to copy the wonderful recipes you gave 1/27 and plan to test them out. I'll let you know how I do. Thanks again for the great recipes!

At 7:53 AM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

Sandy - I'm so glad to hear that. All those recipes are excellent for diabetics, dieters, and people with high cholesterol (like me). I'll be waiting eagerly to hear, but take your time, don't feel pressured. %^D

At 7:47 AM, Blogger Ms. Manitoba said...

"stewing hen"??? You mean we have to figure out the gender of the chicken? I need a more simple recipe.

At 8:34 AM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

Hey, you goddamned Canuck, the butcher does that for ya! %^D

Up early, ain'tcha?

As Zoe says, kosher butchers (who should know from chicken soup) are more likely to have a stewing hen.

At 10:10 PM, Blogger Ms. Manitoba said...

I love it that your post about chicken soup has all these many comments! People have their priorities straight. (And I am NOT being sarcastic.)

At 9:55 AM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

Of course they do! Food first, we say. Everything else (as a Jew oughta know) is commentary.


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